Mark’s latest article on Search Engine Watch covers some fundamental questions each person should ask themselves prior to keyword research. Their top level questions, but ones you should have the answer to before you begin. Strategy 85% of SEO. Implementation does take time and energy on some level, but it’s what you do and how you go about it that really makes the difference.
Some professional SEO firms obviously don’t consider some of these questions prior to research and implementation. Just read each company’s taglines and top level statements about SEO. If they promise #1 rankings, but fail to specify whether this applies to your most important keywords, you’re getting played. If all they ever mention is rankings, and fail to discuss traffic or conversions, you will know what to expect and what not to expect right off the bat.
The goal with every aspect of search engine optimization and any other arm of interactive marketing is to grow your business. If that is not the objective of your current agency of record, it’s time to shop around.